The new year has finally arrived, and that means that it's time for businesses to make some resolutions about their marketing and conversion strategies. If you've struggled to get the results that you needed during 2018, or you simply want to accomplish bigger things in the year ahead, then it's a good idea to check out some of the latest and greatest trends in digital marketing that may guide your decision making in the months to come.
To help you figure out which trends you need to follow and which you can ignore, we've put together a list of some of the biggest and most important marketing transformations to hit the market this year.
1. Authenticity Will be Essential
Today's customers are more empowered than ever before. They simply won't abide by companies that attempt to shield them from the truth or lie to them about what they can do. As your clients become increasingly distrusting of overzealous and often exaggerated marketing campaigns, now's the time to embrace authenticity in everything that you publish.
According to a recent report, around 86% of customers say that authenticity is a critical factor for them when it comes to deciding what they should buy and which companies they should work with. The number of people who value authenticity is even higher among millennials.
2. Voice Search Gets Louder
As complicated as it might seem to some companies, the world as we know it is increasingly moving towards voice search as a way of managing and searching for information. In fact, almost half of the searches on Google will be made via voice search during 2020. If you want your company to thrive in 2019, then you need to make sure you're leveraging voice.
You can prepare for voice search in two ways. The first is to optimise your campaigns for longer "semantic" keyword phrases. The other option is to make your site secure with a HTTPS certificate.
3. Introducing AI
AI is emerging as an increasingly valuable asset in the marketing space. Although we're still figuring out what we can and can't do with machine learning, the technology available to us has made it easier to gather and assess useful customer information.
One great way to add AI to your marketing campaigns is to use chatbots to connect with customers and gather useful information about their buying journeys. With AI, you can gather valuable information, and reduce the amount of money you spend on customer service assistants.
4. Social Media Takes Over
Social media might not be a new concept for 2019, but it's more important today than its ever been. There are around 3.196 social media users world-wide, which means that these channels have taken over about 42% of the market. With so many people active on social, it's important to make sure that you're taking advantage of the right platforms.
Remember that social media marketing is no longer limited to Facebook and Twitter. Increasingly, more companies are finding their way onto visual channels like Instagram and Snapchat too!
5. Micro-Moments Transform the Customer Journey
We're living in a world of constantly-connected customers, were consumers are frequently bombarded by things like emails, offers, push notifications and more. In fact, we've reached a point where many people are suffering from something called information "overwhelm". If you want to connect with your target audience in this environment, then you need to invest in smaller meaningful moments.
Micro moments occur throughout the day when customers decide that they want to learn something and read a blog, or they want to go somewhere, so they look for the nearest place online. Take advantage of micro moments, and you'll be able to strengthen your relationships with your followers.
6. Video Continues to Evolve
Although written content is still valuable in the modern world, many people are beginning to turn to videos instead of reading long articles. Videos are personalised way sot connect with your audience, and according to Cisco, 82% of internet traffic will be based around video. Make sure that you're including video in your campaigns, whether it's an Instagram TV campaign, Facebook Live, or just a descriptor video on your landing pages.
7. Podcasts Push to the Surface
Finally, although podcasts have been around for quite some time now, it's only recently that they've begun to get the attention and respect that they deserve. Now, podcasts are beginning to gain popularity because they provide people with a way to listen to information and entertain themselves when they can't necessarily read an article or watch something.
You can easily listen to a podcast when you're on the train, driving your car, or walking to work, which makes these pieces of content highly valuable.